Fundraisers Help Improve South West Coast Path

A popular section of the South West Coast Path, between Starehole Bay and Bolt Head in South Devon, is receiving some TLC thanks to donations from the Salcombe Coastal Marathon.

The Salcombe Coastal Marathon is an annual event, in which participants of all ages can walk or run at their own pace, along the South West Coast Path from Torcross to Bantham via Salcombe, for 26.2 miles and a 4500’ ascent.

Each year the event raises money for a chosen charity; this year the proceeds were split between funding for improvements to the South West Coast Path and PORT-ER – a charity that provides care for those with mobility challenges.

Stewart Bondi, organiser of the Salcombe Coastal Marathon, was delighted that the event could help such worthy causes:

“Each year during the Salcombe Coastal Marathon we see people from all backgrounds achieving fantastic personal goals and helping such amazing causes. We are so pleased to be able to help fund projects like this which are vital for the future of the Coast Path”

This year Colin Edwards, who walks and runs with a prosthetic limb, took part in the marathon as well as completing a run around the entire South West Coast Path.

“The South West Coast Path Association and PORT-ER are such perfect recipients for the proceeds of this year’s event, as it is important that the Coast Path is maintained for all to enjoy”, Colin commented.

The work to this section of the Coast Path was completed by the National Trust and included re-grading a 500m section which was previously badly rutted, narrow and uneven.

Emma Reece, National Trust Ranger for South Devon, is thrilled with the results:

 “This part of the Coast Path suffered badly from the winter flooding and had become very uneven and difficult to walk over. We are really pleased to be able to get the path back to a high standard, which makes this section easier and more enjoyable for all visitors. The support of a local charity event and the SWCP Team have been key in enabling this to happen. ”

Each of the 90 improvements taking place this year are part of the South West Coast Path Team’s ‘Unlocking our Coastal Heritage’ project, which received funding from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) to conserve, enhance and interpret the Coast Path.

Funds for these projects have come from various sponsors, the RDPE and the fundraising event set up by the SWCPA - the Great South West Walk.

The Great South West Walk, which took place this year to celebrate the South West Coast Path Association’s 40th anniversary, raised over £500,000 and identified the much needed improvement projects around the entire 630 mile South West Coast Path.

John Slater from the South West Coast Path Team, who co-ordinated all of the funding for the Great South West Walk to make the repairs possible also commented:

“All the contributors to this project do such fantastic work, we are so grateful to the Salcolmbe Coastal Marathon for choosing the South West Coast Path Association as one of their chosen charities, as well as the National Trust for their continual support both financially and by completing the work.”

Pictured (from L-R): Stewart Bondi - organiser of the Salcombe Coastal Marathon, Colin Edwards, Emma Reece - National Trust Ranger and John Slater - South West Coast Path Team.

Published on: Nov. 23, 2013